Thursday, March 22, 2007

Perspective: On This Day In Iraq -- March 22nd edition

March 22, 2003: As U.S. forces roll into Iraq from Kuwait, a man suspected of being a member of the Iraqi army is taken into custody.

March 22, 2002:

Bush: Iraq Action Not Imminent

President Bush said Friday he believed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but that the United States had "no imminent plans" to attack.

"What I've told others, including President Fox, is we have no imminent plans to use military operations," Bush said in Monterrey after meeting with Mexican President Vicente Fox. "We'll be deliberate. We'll consult with our friends and allies. But we'll deal with Saddam Hussein, and he knows that. We'd like to see a regime change in Iraq."

In his State of the Union address earlier this year Bush included Iraq in a three-country "axis of evil," with Iran and North Korea, that might be future targets in the U.S. war on terrorism.

Read the rest at CBS News

March 22, 2003:

Hundreds of Iraqi soldiers surrender in face of allied onslaught

SOUTHERN IRAQ – U.S. and British forces streamed in a long line of tanks and armored vehicles Saturday toward Iraq's second largest city, Basra, collecting underfed and overwhelmed Iraqi soldiers who surrendered in droves.

An entire Iraqi division, the 51st Infantry, gave up to U.S. troops Friday, military officials said. A key unit for Basra's defense with 8,000 men and up to 200 tanks, it was the largest defection in a day when Saddam Hussein's forces showed signs of crumbling.

Read the rest at the San Diego Tribune

March 22, 2004:

Bush administration rejects Clarke charges

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Top members of the Bush administration sharply rebuffed their former counterterrorism chief Monday, calling his assertions in a new book about the White House's handling of terrorism and Iraq "deeply irresponsible" and "flat-out wrong."

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said Richard Clarke had engaged in a "retrospective rewriting of the history."

In his book "Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror," published Monday, Clarke accuses the Bush administration of ignoring repeated warnings about an al Qaeda threat in 2001 and looking for an excuse to attack Iraq at the expense of battling terrorism.

Read the rest at CNN

March 22, 2005:

Ordnance from Iran-Iraq war repackaged in deadly bombs

MANDALI, Iraq – Hundreds of thousands of rusty munitions – leftovers from the Iran-Iraq war – are scattered across the green fields and gentle hills of the two countries' common border. Long ignored, they are now being harvested by insurgents who recycle them into crude but highly deadly bombs to use against U.S. and Iraqi troops.

Saddam-era ordnance, repackaged as roadside bombs or bundled together to use in car bomb attacks, has been the leading killer of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Concerned about the growing trend, the military is paying Iraqis thousands of dollars for information about weapons caches.

Read the rest at the San Diego Tribune

March 22, 2006:

Inmates freed from Iraq jail in deadly raid by insurgents

BAGHDAD, Iraq – More than 200 masked insurgents brazenly stormed an Interior Ministry jail at daybreak yesterday, killing at least 18 policemen, freeing all the prisoners and leaving the facility a smoldering wreck.

The battle raged for nearly an hour at the jail, in Muqdadiyah, 60 miles northeast of Baghdad, as the fighters blasted government buildings with mortars, grenades and machine guns, Interior Ministry officials said. The attack demonstrated that although sectarian violence has recently emerged as Iraq's gravest concern, the anti-government insurgency is far from over.

Read the rest at the San Diego Tribune